Former Maidenhead student wins national engineering innovation award

A former Maidenhead student has won an innovation award at a national engineering competition.

Katie Walker, 19, who went to Newlands Girls School, made it to the grand final of the Engineering Development Trust’s Year in Industry ‘Contribution to the Business’ (CTTB) awards, which was held on Wednesday, June 24.

While she did not take the top award, she was announced as the winner of the Scottish Engineering Innovation Award for her work with aerospace engineering company Leonardo in Edinburgh.

Katie has spent this year working at Leonardo as part of her year in industry before she goes on to Oxford University to study physics in September.

Katie received the award nomination for designing a tool which can design antenna and measure how they adapt to different environments. The tool is already being used widely at Leonardo, which employs more than 7,000 people across the UK.

The CTTB awards are dedicated to school leavers and undergraduates during their year in industry. This year was the first time the ceremony had been held virtually, via Zoom.

Katie said: “I’ve spend the past year developing antenna technology and when I had to start working from home due to the pandemic I was speaking to my manager every few days on Zoom.

“I soon realised that you need to heighten your concentration levels and up your energy when you’re relaying ideas remotely, which helped me when I had to deliver my presentation to the judges.”

Speaking about Katie’s accomplishments, Paul Rose, capability manager at Leonardo said: “We are extremely proud of Katie’s hard work and resilience during this period of home working and for the sheer tenacity she has shown to reach the national final.

“To be recognised for innovation in a national competition is a great start to her career in engineering.

“She leaves Leonardo on 10 July to begin her physics degree at the University of Oxford – we wish her every success and hope to see her back at Leonardo in the very near future.”

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